Saturday, 9 April 2016

How Do Your Expectations Limit You?

Expectations can make you feel so amazing and excited for the future but it can also leave you feeling let down and disappointed.  Has that ever happened to you?

One of the things about expectations is that we get hooked on the idea, the bigger our imagination, the bigger the expectation.  People who dream really vividly and in full colour often set unrealistic expectations.  They are crushed when it doesn’t look like they expected. 

I remember this being something that I struggled with when I was younger.  As I grew older I realized that it is not always possible for everything to turn out the way you see it in your mind.  Be sure that I am not talking about visualizing a better future.  All I am referring to is the times we blow it out of proportion in our minds that reality can never match the expectation. 

The scary consequence is that we then decide not to take risks.  We don’t try anything new because we believe that it can never look as good as we see it in our minds eye.  Time and time again I have spoken to people who just stop trying because they have been disappointed to many times.  Their dreams are so full of colour that everything pales by comparison.  And therein rests the shame.

So how do we stop it?  How do we make sure that our expectations don’t leave us disappointed or that we stop chasing our dreams?  We measure our expectations against reality.  

Let’s take a simple example:
It is a special occasion, your partner’s birthday.  You have dinner plans or you are cooking your partners’ favourite meal.  To make it extra special you set the table, buy good wine and in your mind you are preparing for the perfect romantic evening.  You dress up, wear your best perfume.  Your partner arrives but he is agitated.  His day at work wasn’t anything like what he had hoped it would be.  Suddenly your beautiful planned evening starts slipping away.  This is not how you envisioned the evening playing out and you don’t know how to shift it back.  You get angry, anxious or pull away because everything is spoiled!  He / she spoiled it all!! Does that sound familiar?

The real truth is; YOU spoiled it.  You spoiled the evening by not being able to adjust your vision from dream to reality and what was happening in the space.  Imagine that you shifted your energy, opened that bottle of wine and listened to your partner allowing for him/her to unwind, or even go and have a shower or bath (and what about joining your partner in the bath)?  What if you had gone with the flow?  What if you had allowed for organic movement in the plans instead of trying to control every aspect of it?

Does it mean you lower your expectations?   On the contrary, keep your expectation high but be flexible, dance on your feet.  Go with the flow and enjoy the experience.  Don’t try to control everything including how your partner should react and be.  Plan for the best outcome but most of all – let go of your expectations.  Expectations limit you, put you in a box and make you believe that things can only look a certain way – and that my friend’s is simply not true!

Love & Light